Lesson 20: Build a Play Lab Game

Event | Play Lab


This lesson features Play Lab, a platform where students can create their own games and have interactions between characters and user input. Students will work with events to create keyboard controls. This set of puzzles will also loosely guide students through game development, but with freedom to add their own ideas.


Students will use events to make characters move around the screen, make noises, and change backgrounds based on user input. This lesson offers a great introduction to events in programming and even gives a chance to show creativity! At the end of the puzzle sequence, students will be presented with the opportunity to share their projects.


Warm Up (15 min)

Main Activity (30 min)

Wrap Up (15 min)


Students will be able to:

  • Identify actions that correlate to input events.
  • Create an animated, interactive game using sequence and events.



Heads Up! Please make a copy of any documents you plan to share with students.

For the Teacher

For the Students


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Teaching Guide

Warm Up (15 min)


Today students will revisit events in programming.

  • Event: An action that causes something to happen.

Ask the students to raise their hands in the air.

What you did was declare an event. When you say "raise your hands in the air" the students responded by raising their hands. In coding, you would declare this by saying "when I say 'raise your hands' you will raise your hands".

You can also think of cities also declaring events. There are laws that say "when there is a green light, the cars can move through the intersection". Ask the students why they think this is an event.

Today, students will play in Play Lab, but the events they will be working on will be more like the video games they are used to playing. Events will take the form of actions, such as pressing the up arrow or two characters running into each other.

Review of "Personal and Private information"

Remind students of information that is safe to share online and information that is strictly private.

SAFE - Personal Information UNSAFE - Private Information
Your favorite food
Your opinion (though it shoud be done respectfully)
First name (with permission)
Mother's maiden name
Social Security number
Your date of birth
Parents' credit card information
Phone number

Discuss other examples of the two categories above.

Main Activity (30 min)

Teacher Tip

Remind the students to only share their work with their close friends or family. For more information watch or show the class Pause and Think Online - Video.

Course E Online Puzzles - Website

This is one of the most free-form online activities of the course. At the final stage students have the freedom to create a game of their own. You may want to provide structured guidelines around what kind of game to make, particularly for students who are overwhelmed by too many options.

Wrap Up (15 min)


Having students write about what they learned, why it’s useful, and how they feel about it can help solidify any knowledge they obtained today and build a review sheet for them to look to in the future.

Journal Prompts:

  • What was today's lesson about?
  • How do you feel about today's lesson?
  • What is your game about? What are some cool features it has? What kind of code was needed to make these cool features?
  • What's something you think is really cool in games you play? Create a hypothesis around what code would be needed to create those features.

Standards Alignment

View full course alignment

CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards

AP - Algorithms & Programming
  • 1B-AP-12 - Modify, remix or incorporate portions of an existing program into one's own work, to develop something new or add more advanced features.

Cross-curricular Opportunities

This list represents opportunities in this lesson to support standards in other content areas.

Common Core English Language Arts Standards

L - Language
  • 4.L.6 - Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g
SL - Speaking & Listening
  • 4.SL.1 - Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • 4.SL.1.a - Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
  • 4.SL.4 - Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • 4.SL.6 - Differentiate between contexts that call for formal English (e.g., presenting ideas) and situations where informal discourse is appropriate (e.g., small-group discussion); use formal English when appropriate to task and situation.
W - Writing
  • 4.W.6 - With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a

Common Core Math Standards

MP - Math Practices
  • MP.1 - Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically
  • MP.6 - Attend to precision
  • MP.7 - Look for and make use of structure
  • MP.8 - Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
NBT - Number And Operations In Base Ten
  • 4.NBT.4 - Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
  • 4.NBT.5 - Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular ar

Next Generation Science Standards

ETS - Engineering in the Sciences
ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • 3-5-ETS1-1 - Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 - Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.